Book #1 – the Popularity Pact Series-Publishing April 14, 2020
The Grateful Reader Review by Dorothy Schwab
Maisy and Bea, best friends since their preschool years, have grown up together. Maisy has spent her sixth grade year doing everything in her power to “hold her spot” in the M&M’s-the most popular girls’ group at school. During this same year Bea has become invisible and spent her days at school in complete silence; eating alone while reading a book, speaking to no one and no one speaking to her. It was if she “ceased to exist.” What happened to cause the split between these two best friends?
It’s the summer before seventh grade and Bea, an only child, is sad to leave her single mom, but excited as she heads off to Camp Amelia. She’ll join her BFF’s in the Sunflower Bunk, all in great anticipation of training to win the coveted trophy at the end of camp tournament; as the Sunflowers do every camp season. Maisy is unknowingly signed up by her dad for Camp Amelia -a high adventure camp for girls. Maisy’s mom is mysteriously not “in the picture.” Anxiety ridden and not athletic at all, Maisy cannot tolerate the thought of spending six whole weeks with a bunch of “losers.” The summer saga begins to unfold as Maisy and Bea end up on the same “ancient yellow bus” heading from Mapleton to Camp Amelia. Maisy is mortified. Mapleton School World and Camp Amelia World are colliding. When these two worlds collide, the Popularity Pact erupts.
Belonging- gaining status as an essential part of a group. This is a feeling understood by every age group, but it seems SO crucial to the “happiness” of Middle School girls. Striving to belong to a group begins at a young age- early elementary for most. Guiding young girls through this tangle of feelings is never so traumatic as in the Middle School years. Teachers at this level deserve so much respect and gratitude for helping girls cope and survive the “daily dilemmas” of seventh and eighth grade. Maisy and Bea are dealing with difficult family situations but aren’t comfortable sharing their inmost fears. But then, who is?
Eileen Moskowitz-Palma’s series, The Popularity Pact, brings a myriad of doubts and emotions to the surface for readers-young and old, alike. Adults may conjure fond memories or even disturbing emotions. “Camp Clique provides valuable lessons about friendship, identity, belonging, and the power of kindness.” Young girls will identify with Maisy, Bea, or one of the Sunflowers. In any case, Book #1, Camp Clique, will leave all campers ready to barge boldly into the halls of Mapleton Middle School to find out just exactly how Maisy and Bea uphold their end of the Popularity Pact. Campers will be clamoring to register for Book #2-School Squad-coming fall of 2020.
“When Eileen Moskowitz-Palma double majored in Elementary Education and English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, she thought she would have to choose between a career as a writer or a teacher. It wasn’t until she was almost 40 that she realized she could do both.
Now, Eileen divides her time between writing middle grade novels and teaching Beginner Novel Writing and Writing for Children and Young Adults at The Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College.
Eileen is a fitness enthusiast and lives a vegan-ish lifestyle unless you count the occasional bacon cheeseburger. She lives in Westchester, NY, with her college sweetheart husband Douglas, their daughter Molly, and their Wire Fox Terrier Oscar, who is one snaggle-tooth away from being a doggy model.”